Walking Down the Aisle During the Pandemic

By Piper Rutherford ’22

We have all grown up engulfed in romantic comedies. The companionship of When Harry Met Sally. The hopefulness of Sleepless in Seattle. The epic crush in Sixteen Candles. That boom box over the head, nobody puts baby in a corner kind of love. The idea of forever with your soulmate. To go through life hand in hand with your person. That one who walks into a room and says you.

However, those lucky enough to have found this match are being met with COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines as altars are being put on hold, vows left unsaid, I dos paused, and wedding ceremonies delayed in this new normal. So much for that little girl who dressed up in long gowns and imagined the day when she would marry her Prince Charming, flashing her ring pop to any who would witness this dream.

 As for now, the infinite Pinterest boards remain at a standstill for the brides to be. Endless tiers of cake not cut into nor devoured, dance floors left empty and desolate, the sounds of glass absent amidst plentiful toasts to the beautiful couple. As many kneel down to pop the question, the true question still remains when they will be able to tie the knot and how it will live up to their Father of the Bride fantasy ceremony.

Imagine waiting in the lobby for your best friend’s wedding. A zoom lobby. With many guests uncertain of traveling and taking part in large events, couples have pivoted to virtual ceremony options for those unable to attend in person or simply uncomfortable in this setting out of fear of a second wave.

 This said, there are various factors to consider; those who are at high risk, individuals unvaccinated, and the daunting expense of the cost associated with attending a wedding especially after a pandemic that left many unemployed. This leaves eager couples in a problematic situation as they are ready to get married and begin their lives together. Yet, after a year of separation, these love birds have come to realize how important this day is to be surrounded by those who they love after months of isolation and social distancing.

This conflicted feeling is known all too well by newly engaged couple, Preston Rutherford, and Chloe Young, who have been calling one another fiancé since April of 2021. These students at Baylor University have gone through their four years of school amongst a culture known as ring by spring. This trend has proven to be contagious as many fraternities and sororities have engaged couples within their chapters, who decided to take that next step in their relationships, before walking across the stage in their cap and gown.

Preston, 22, shakes his head in disbelief and laughs as he describes his transformation from freshman year to his senior graduation at McClean Stadium in Waco, Texas.

“Even though I have already knelt down on one knee, and the love of my life said yes, I have realized what a true blessing it is that four years ago I could not have fathomed. Baylor not only gave me a degree, but it gave me my future wife,” he said.

Chloe, 21, gazes at her hand and smiles as she reveals the other side of getting engaged which is the stressful part of planning the perfect wedding.

“There are so many aspects to consider including the cost, venue, invitations, catering, bridesmaids and groomsmen, decorations, a photographer, and so many other things that I never knew would be so intricate and time consuming,” she said.

With these added components, the couple hopes to begin planning as soon as possible, as they are aware that many summer wedding cancellations from 2020 and 2021 are being postponed until 2022, their ideal time to walk down the aisle. This makes the margin of reserving and preparing for their special day, rapidly approaching, as they do not have the time to waste when there is such a high demand as some have been waiting years to say just two words.

Given society’s current expectations of an Instagram worthy wedding, Chloe has an extensive agenda to ensure that these extraordinary moments are captured in the most exceptional manner.

“I have my eye on a venue that has a pond outside of this serene white farmhouse where the reception would be, with plenty of space to take pictures. For the theme I want to have sage green and terracotta colors, and my parents are planting flowers to have dehydrated pedals to decorate the inside. I cannot wait to see Preston in a green suit and his friends in suspenders,” future Mrs. Rutherford said.

In the meantime, these two former Baylor Bears are among the thousands of couples scrambling for a time when they can save the date for this magical occasion, hoping their guests will soon get alerted that You’ve Got Mail. This said, hopeful fingers are crossed that the coronavirus does not come to the wedding and object once again.

Send us your thoughts!